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Hoffer, W. (1957). Ernst Kris—1900–1957. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 38:359-362.

(1957). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 38:359-362

Ernst Kris—1900–1957

W. Hoffer

In the early hours of 27 February Ernst Kris died at his home in New York, leaving behind his wife, Dr. Marianne Kris, and two children, a graduate and a student of medicine. His distinction in two fields, that of the history of art as well as that of psycho-analysis, has been recognized far beyond the closer circle of his professional associates. Both the New York Psychoanalytic Society and the American Psychoanalytic Association had conferred on him their Honorary Membership, honours which he shared with but a very few.

Kris came to psycho-analysis in circumstances remarkable and characteristic enough to be worthy of record. Born and brought up in Vienna, he studied art history and became a custodian of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Austrian State Museum for Art in that city. He had turned towards the study of art and its history very early, indeed in adolescence, when for months he was laid up because of juvenile rheumatism, which also affected his heart. When back at secondary school, World War I caused the population of the city to feel all the hardships of scarcity; and the fuel shortage necessitated the closing of schools during the weeks of frost (Kälteferien). Young Kris used this spell of idleness to trespass into the University and its History of Art Department, where Professor Julius von Schlosser carried on his seminar discussions with his students, whose numbers were few because of the call-up. Kris's keen participation and outstanding knowledge aroused Professor Schlosser's lasting interest.

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